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HICA: What It Is & Why It’s Important

HICA: What It Is & Why It’s Important

HICA Overview

You should never assume that everyone is on the same page when it comes to a home improvement project. It is important that the homeowner and contractor sit down and discuss the terms of the project and agree to those terms in writing. Fortunately, the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act (HICA) requires such a writing. Home improvement contracts contain all relevant agreements made between the parties and provide a roadmap of what both parties can expect from each other. Most importantly, home improvement contracts ensure greater success and prevent future misunderstandings among the parties. No matter the size or scope of the project, every homeowner and contractor can benefit from the security of a home improvement contract. It is also essential that the parties understand HICA because it lays out their rights and obligations of the overall project.

Who Does It Apply to?

HICA applies to all persons or entities who provide residential improvement services to persons who reside or intend to reside in Indiana. The Act also applies to non-Indiana contractors who travel to Indiana to provide such services on residential properties in Indiana. However, such projects must exceed one hundred and fifty ($150) dollars for the Act to apply.

What is Included in a Home Improvement Contract?

A home improvement contract includes an abundance of items integral to the project’s success. Most importantly, the contract should include the parties’ information and a description of the home improvement services that will be provided. Party information identifies who is bound to the contract, which typically includes the parties’ names, business names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses. Additionally, a description of services needed will depict how the project should proceed. This may include what work will be done and where it will be performed, start and end dates of the project, price of work and how it will be determined, and how and when payment will occur. The contract may also include legal clauses to help protect your business or your rights as a homeowner.

What Happens if a Party Violates the Contract?

It might be the case that either the homeowner or contractor violates the terms of HICA and the contract. And in that case, there are various courses of action that the aggrieved party may pursue. These can include injunctive relief, recission of the contract requiring either money received by the contractor to be returned to the homeowner or the homeowner paying the contractor for the benefits that the homeowner received, voiding certain provisions of the contract or the contract in its entirety, and cost of actual damages plus recovery of attorney fees. No matter the case, there are suitable remedies for both parties for any violation thereof.

If you have a home improvement contract that needs reviewed, or you believe you have a HICA claim, contact the Indiana real estate attorneys at McNeelyLaw LLP today.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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